Marriage Haters Club

“Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make a helper that corresponds to him’ “ (Gen 2:18).

The one and only thing said to be “not good” in the entire creation narrative of Genesis 1-2 is for Adam (man) to be without a helper (woman/wife).  God made men to be in a marriage relationship.  It’s central to the creation design.

To be sure, marriage is not the highest purpose of man.  No, man (humanity) was created to walk with God in a life-giving relationship, and to enjoy the Lord’s person and presence forever (to steal some of Westminster’s phraseology).  But the creation account makes it clear that the expectation, or the primary way man can glorify God and enjoy Him forever is by walking through life with a woman / wife.  Marriage is God’s ideaIt is glorious and when done with Christ at the center, brings the Lord the honor due Him as Creator and Redeemer. 

This is not to say the gift of singleness is dead today (Matt 19:12; 1 Cor 7:32-33).  But clearly, this is the biblical exception, not the rule.  If singleness were the rule, Genesis 2:18 is senseless.  God pronounced Adam’s lonliness “not good.”  Adam needed Eve (not Steve, and not any of the animals which God had him name immediately after saying his unwed state was not good). 

Young men, even those growing up in churches, simply do not believe God got it right in Genesis 2:18.  Why do college guys hang out with other guys, eating pizzas and playing video games into the wee hours of the morning?  Why do guys date girls forever, seemingly paralyzed to commit to a life of marriage and children and real responsibilities?  Why do guys joke around that once a friend has gotten engaged his life is all but over?  Poor, married wretch.  He bit the bullet.  Tied himself down.  Chained himself to misery and a probable future divorce and nasty custody battle, followed by alimony / child support.

Young men of Christ, be very careful.  Accusing God of being wrong is not something to be taken lightly.  Dads, raise your sons to know better.  Urge them to marry young and get down to the business of real world responsibility sooner rather than later.  Have we so quickly forgotten that marriage is also God’s good provision to prevent unwed motherhood and/or pre-marital sex?  Read 1 Cor 7:1-2.  Take God at His word, young men and dads!

What is surprising is how young women are also now treating marriage as if it’s something to be put off as long as possible.  I recently read an article on www.msn.com by Erin Meanley titled “36 Things Every Single Girl Must Do Before She Settles Down.”  The title says it all, doesn’t it?

Allow me to share some of Ms. Meanley’s list:

  • Live alone.
  • Go to a movie alone.
  • Fly to a foreign country by yourself.
  • Get drunk during the day, just because you can..
  • Do at least one Valentine’s Day alone.
  • Attend a wedding alone.
  • Sit at a bar by yourself and drink a martini.
  • Finish all your schooling if you can.

She goes on to list three things to do to help yourself appreciate being single.  They are: 1) Babysit someone’s baby for an hour.  2) Help a friend through her divorce.  3) Host a girls-only night.  “I think some coupled-up women forget how much we need each other,” she quips.

Notice any trends?  This is what feminism has led us to, folks.  A total reversal and denial of God’s good creation called marriage, not to mention the gift of children.  Adam and Eve were made for one another.  Their life-long companionship would reflect God’s glory in ways that no other human relationships can.  It’s OK for men to have friends who are men.  Ditto for women.  But when it comes to the foundation of human society, propagating the faith, and showing the love of Christ to the world, there is no substitute for marriage.

Call me old-fashioned, but scores of young women living alone has not and is not working well for our culture or churches.  Raising girls to shun or deny their God-given need and desire for protection and provision which they are meant to find from their husbands has not and is not working well for our culture.  Scores of men playing games with one another instead of finding their Eve and settling down with her to fulfill their high calling from God as husbands and dads – well, that’s not working so well, either, is it?

God help us stop calling His design “bad” or “something to be post-poned while you smother yourself in self-love.”  Solomon said, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing.” 

I found my good thing 20 years ago.  Short of my walk with Jesus Christ and his grace in my life, nothing else even comes close to the joy of sharing life with my “good thing.”  I highly commend it to you, boys.

God got it right.  He always does.  “It is not good for man to be alone.”

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The Makings of a Man

Most of the dating discussion thus far has focused on Daddy’s and Daughters.  There is both a practical and theological reason for this emphasis.

Practically, I am the father of two gorgeous daughters.  No need to deny it, God has used my two girls to drive me into the Word to hear from Him on the matters of being a man, being a Dad, and raising daughters.  So, if my posts seem slanted towards Dad’s critical duty to protect and defend their daughters, I make no apologies, and neither does the Bible!

Theologically, the reason is also pretty simple: If Dads protect daughters the way God has designed, most of the current “Christian dating woes” would disappear.  Young Christian men would quickly change their strategies in the face of an army of Dads linked arm-in-arm determined to honor God with the way they raise, protect and partner with their daughters in the courtship process. 

But of course, it is my sincere hope and prayer that many parents in the church of the living God would also begin to raise boys to be real men.  Our nation is awash in boys who look outwardly like grown men.  I have written on this pandemic of overgrown boys cleaverly disguished as bearded men in previous posts.  I invite you to read some of them or review them. 

Today, however, I want to end this series of posts on Dating by exhorting Dads, Moms, and young men to reclaim biblical manhood for the glory of our Savior and Lord, who was The Man of all Men.  Jesus is the perfect Man, the God-man, so if we Christians look anywhere other than to Him for our picture of manhood, shame on us.

And it really is a shame how Christians in our culture have all but lost any solid concept of genuine biblical manhood.  The femi-nazi’s have beaten us down, sissified us, and left us with girlie men.  Broken homes, single-parenthood, and absentee fathers have further contributed to multiple generations of confused, neutered men.  Far too many generations of young boys have grown up in the church with little to no model of manhood, nor anyone who cared enough to disciple and mentor them into a Christ-like man.  This must change!

I thank God for men like Drs. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. and Voddie Baucham who write and speak so powerfully, so biblically, so passionately about true manhood.  May God increase their tribe.  More importantly, may God increase the tribe of Dads who are committed to raising young warriors for Christ

And what, pray tell would such a warrior look like?  Here’s a short list:

  • A real man embraces his God-given role as a provider.  God made man and put him in a garden “to work and keep it.”  God made men to cultivate, improve, and grow things in order to provide for his wife / children, as well as to reflect the image of God as our Ultimate Provider.
  • A real man exercises dominion over the creation.  God told man to “have dominion” over the fish and fowl, creatures great and small, as well as the land and plants around him.  Adam was the first vice-regent of God, if you will, created to reflect and extend God’s dominion by using the creation in God-honoring ways, as well as beautifying the creation.  Real men do not go to PETA meetings, nor do they smooch with trees.  Nor do real men abuse the creation.  Rather, real men utilize the creation with gratitude to God for His provision, and work to beautify the creation to reflect God’s creative beauty.
  • Real men embrace God’s command to “be fruitful and multiply” and they embrace God’s good design for this propogation (one man married to one woman).  The Bible does admit a few God-ordained exceptions (those given the gift of singleness), but they are the exception, not the rule.  The rule is a “one woman man” who desires and loves children!  (Mal 2:14-16). 
  • Real men are Christ-like leaders (Eph 5:22-24).  Jesus leads with uncompromising truth.  He stands between His people and the demonic wolves.  He leads with compassion, but firmness.  He leads by washing sinners’ feet.  He leads by example.  He leads by mentoring.  He leads by teaching the Word.  He leads by preaching the Word. 
  • Real men love their wives like Christ (Eph 5:25-27).  Jesus willingly became accursed for His church, His bride.  Jesus was crushed in the stead of His bride.  Jesus defeated death and sin forever by rising again for His bride.  Jesus is a warrior who has never lost a battle for His bride!  Jesus always does only what honors God the Father, and what is best for His bride, the church.
  • Real men grasp and embrace the “one flesh union” of marriage (Eph 5:28-33).  Just as Christ is permanantly bonded to His beloved church, so a biblical man is glued to his wife for life.  A real man is determined by God’s grace that nothing short of death shall pull him away from his bride (Rom 8:31-39). 
  • Real men are the pastor-theologians of their families.  While every man will not be called or expected to fill pulpits, every married man is expected to be the primary Bible teacher in his home (1 Cor 14:34-35; 1 Tim 2:11-15).  We have been raising generations of young men in the church who can barely put together a few intelligible sentences about the gospel, much less faihfully teach a passage of scripture to their wife and children.  This must cease!  And Dad you are just the man God has called to see to it that it does cease in your own home.

The biblical standard of manhood is high.  But, God does not ask our opinion when He commands and demands and manifests His design for holy manhood.  We dare not lower God’s standard!  Rather, we look fully into the face of God in Christ to see our truest picture of what a man is.  All that Adam failed to be, Christ was and is forever.  All that we fail to be, Jesus is. 

We must pursue Jesus carried along by the Holy Spirit of grace.  We must raise sons to run hard after Christ on the track of God’s sovereign mercy. 

God give us grace to look to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of faith.  God give us grace to raise sons who will reclaim and reflect the image of Christ as the leader of their homes, the lovers of their wives, and the shepherd of their children.  God help us raise up young men who would not dare dishonor a young woman’s parents in the ways they relate to her. 

God give us real men, not for our sake, but for the sake of the Holy Savior, Jesus.  May our sons reflect His radiance, His dominion, His loveHis truth, and His holiness.  Remake our sons into the image of the Second Adam we pray.  Grant our daughters not perfect men, for Jesus alone is the Perfect Man.  But grant our daughters men of grace, who will raise our grandchildren to be children of the High King of Heaven, children of the Word, children of God’s adoption in Christ.  Amen.

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Dating A Better Way

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By now it should be obvious I believe Christians need to shun anything remotely resembling what our culture calls “dating.”  We need to shun it ourselves.  We need to raise our sons and daughters to shun it.

But, we dare not leave it there, for young men will be attracted to young women, and vice-versa.  This is by God’s design!  So, we cannot simply shield our children from ever developing a relationship with potential spouses.  I hope by now readers have gotten a more biblical vision for how we might honor God, restore fathers (parents) to their rightful place in courtship, and protect our children from emotional, physical, and spiritual scars that will inevitably arise from dating the culture’s way.

Before I attempt a summary of principles, however, let me state clearly what I am not advocating.  I am not recommending arranged marriages.  By “arranged” I mean a marriage completely set up by parents, without the participation or even the knowledge of the children involved.  Some cultures still practice arranged marriages.  Though I do not advocate for them, neither do I absolutely condemn cultures who have this pratice.  It is intruiging, for example, that in India where arranged marriages are standard fare, the divorce rate is light years lower than in post-modern cultures like America.  I once saw a documentary on arranged marriages in India, and a young man said something quite profound when commenting on the low divorce rates.  He said (paraphrased), “In America, you marry the one you love.  In India, we love the one we marry.”  That’s worth thinking about, friends.  Seems Hindus may have a better grasp of true love than those claiming to be followers of Christ in America!  Oh, the ugly toll that buying into our culture’s romantic view of love has taken on us.

I have heard some people try to claim that arranged marriages were the norm in Old Covenant Israel, as well as in New Testament times.  But, as I read the Bible, is does not appear to me that God’s design meets the definition of what we typically think of when we say “arranged marriages.”  Rather, as stated in previous posts, I believe the model laid out for us in the Bible is what we might term “Participatory Partnership.”  Here are the principles defining such a model of courtship:

  1. Parents, in particular fathers, have the prominent role of protecting daughters’ purity until marriage.
  2. Parents serve as their daughters’ first line evaluators of any potential suitors.
  3. Sound doctrine must drive parents’ decision-making when it comes to matters of opposite sex relations.  For instance, Jeremiah 17:9 demands high parental supervision and participation in the ways young teens spend time together.
  4. Once a suitor develops a relationship with the Dad and Mom, and the parents have found obvious marks of regeneration/salvation and blossoming spiritual maturity, the suitor can then be permitted to begin developing a relationship with the daughter, always under Dad’s watchful eye (or Mom’s in Dad’s absence).
  5. The parent(s) should serve as advisors and ready counselors as the young relationship continues to grow.  Particular attention should be paid to helping the couple grow in their grasp of biblical / gospel love and a genuine Christian model of home / marriage.  Children must be trained well in these matters long before that first guy comes a knockin,’ but the education must be constant and continuous, especialy as the attachment grows stronger during the courtship.
  6. When it becomes clear to both the young man and woman that their hearts are committed for a lifetime, it is then (at the wedding) that a young woman is formally transferred from her Dad’s headship to her husband’s.
  7. Young men must also be protected, but by God’s design they are to be the seekers in the relationship.  “Therefore a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife.”  So, we must raise our sons to embrace this biblical vision of courtship.  Young men must return to honoring God and Dads and Moms in the way they approach getting to know a young girl.

Personally, as a Dad of daughters, I feel strongly that any young man desiring a relationship with one of my girls should come through me.  That is, he should seek a relationship with me first, long before he ever expresses his feelings of fondness to my daughter.  He should place himself willingly and joyfully under my spiritual mentorship and evaluation.  He should avoid trying to steal my daughter’s heart without my hearty approval at all costs.  He dare not try to back me into a corner in the matter of giving my blessing.

My daughter’s are being raised with this vision, this expectation, this confident surety that Daddy will protect them and that I am on their side, for the glory of God!  I believe when the time comes, my girls will be joyful to have me on their front lines, and will know I have their best interest at heart, and will honor this process with whole-hearted trust in our Sovereign God who works all things for their good because they are His called ones, and they love Him.

Now, some of you are thinking, “Poor, wretched young man who dares to come callin’ at this pastor’s door!”  Well, maybe so, depending on the young man.  But, believe me, this pastor is a chief sinner who would be ruined apart from the grace of God in Christ.  I look forward, actually, to the young man God will send to me one day, to express his desire to get to know one of my daughters.  I believe I and that young man will develop a most blessed relationship as we begin to walk with Christ together, and to walk through His Word together.  We’ll share our hearts, talk of real manhood, work together, and come to know the pleasure of the Lord in the matter of my daughter.  We’ll commit ourselves first to God’s glory, and confess His sovereingty, come what may.  So long as the young man is also a man captured by grace, knowing how far from perfect we all are, and how Perfect Jesus is, and so long as he submits to mentoring and cultivates spiritual growth in godliness, he will meet my general criteria to take a step towards my daughter.

Now, I am praying and trusting God that another Dad out there somewhere is raising his son to have a similar vision.  After all, I do want to get off on the right foot with this young whipper-snapper!

Next and Concluding Post in This Series: The Makings of a Man  

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Dating and Dads

BA2274-001Fatherlessness is killing the very soul of our nation; for it is destroying our homes.  Beyond this, fatherlessness (defined as the physical absence of a Dad in a home/family, or the functional absence of a Dad in a home/ family) is setting the next generation of homes up for failure.  It exists as a generational curse if ever there was one.

Rather than rehearse the well-known stats of this growing epidemic in America (for example, see the tremendous body of research done by the Institute for American Values), my aim here is to ask a simple question or two:

  1. What role does the Bible envision fathers playing in dating/courtship?
  2. How can we reclaim this vital role in our families today?

At first glance, one may presume the Bible does not have direct commands for Dads in the matter of their children’s courtships.  Upon deeper reflection, God’s viewpoint emerges from several texts.

For starters, consider the account of Laban and Jacob (Genesis 29).  Note how Jacob goes about gaining the courtship of Rachel.  He goes through her father Laban.  And even after the weasel Laban bamboozles Jacob, giving him Leah instead of Rachel and excising yet another seven years of labor out of him, Jacob still honors the process of submitting to Laban’s role as Rachel’s Dad.  In other words, Jacob is not willing to by-pass Laban to get Rachel, even if Laban is a scoundrel.

In Judges 15:1-2, we see that even the pig-headed Sampson refuses to violate the decision of a Dad in the matter of access to his daughter.  And, amazingly, this is true even after the daughter has “married” Sampson!  Granted, Sampson exacts revenge, but not on the father or daughter (their own village does that task).

It appears something more than just a cultural norm is at work here in the Old Testament.  One is inclined to think that if even less than stellar men (Jacob and Sampson) honor the father’s critical role in courtship, that a law or moral code is at work somewhere.

Enter Deuteronomy 22:13-29.  In this passage, case law is laid down by Moses, expounding upon the 7th commandment involving adultery or extra-marital sex.  While we would not advocate today the punishments (stoning) for pre-marital or extra-marital sex set out in this text, we can and should seek out those timeless truths that transcend all cultures.  I see at least three timeless truths from this passage:

  1. God takes sexual purity very seriously, yeah deadly seriously for His people.  Again, I do not endorse stoning in these cases, but that is only because Jesus, the Law Fulfiller, showed us the true intent of the Law – to expose our sinful hearts and need of a Savior.  Jesus condemned us all as adulterers of the heart (Matt 5:27-28).  James calls us all spiritual adulterers (4:4).  That is, we have all “played the whore in our father’s house” (Deut 22:21).  We need Jesus.  But friends, the NT does not let us off the hook in the matter of sexual sin (1 Cor 6).  God is serious about purity in His people.  Are we serious about it in our own hearts and homes?
  2. God created men to protect and defend the purity and dignity of women.  Space forbids an in-depth analysis here, but suffice it to say a close study of these case laws reveals what God intended.  The laws were designed to protect the woman’s purity, dignity, and her family’s reputation.  Easy divorce was out of the question!  Frivilous accusations by husbands were all but ruled out.  A young man, for example, convicted of pre-marital sex, was required to marry the girl (unless the Dad disapproved, per Ex 22:16-17), and pay a hefty fine, and was never allowed to divorce her, period!  Now that would discourage pre-marital sex!  This is why the OT does not have rampant examples of these case laws actually ever having to be used.  The laws worked!  Men embraced their roles to protect and defend women.
  3. The role of the Dad in guarding his daughter’s purity is pivotal.  Notice the intimate relationship and partnership that was expected to exist between daughter and Dad.  The daughter had to humble herself and present her wedding night bedsheet to her Dad for safekeeping, to prove she had indeed honored God and honored her Dad in the matter of her sexual purity.  One imagines the joy the Dad and daughter experienced as they took part in this sacred ritual, rejoicing in how they had by God’s good graces partnered together to present that young lady pure to her husband.  When the daughter handed Dad those sheets, she was in essence saying, “I love the Lord, and I love you, Daddy.  We did it God’s way!  To God be the glory!”  God designed Daddies to protect their daughters’ purity at all costs.

Clear enough, I think.  But how do we reclaim the role of Dads in courtship?  To be sure, it will require much of us, especially for those dads who do not have regular access to their children.  It will require Dads to raise their daughters with the expectation that Dad is the front-line defense and evaluator of potential suitors.  It will require us to earn our daughters’ trust in this matter, so that if we disapprove, the matter goes no further.  It will require Dads (and moms) to then partner with daughters in the ongoing evaluation of potential mates, allowing a relationship to build slowly and purely – God’s way – under watchful parental supervision.

And it will require Dads to raise sons to be the kind of young men who will approach and develop a relationship with the Dad long before they ever even try it with the daughter.  No more by-passing Dad.  No more stealing the girl’s heart first, then bringing Dad into the picture only when it is time to “ask for his daughter’s hand.”  Voddie Baucham calls this backing Dad into a corner, all but ensuring he has to say “yes” since the girl already has given herself to the man regardless of Dad or in total disregard to Dad’s rightful role and place.

God’s way requires a radical swimming upstream in this ruined culture, a radical rejection of cultural dating.  It requires taking God at His Word.  It requires grace to be holy, for our God is holy (Lev 19:2).  God help us pursue the better way.  For His sake, and for our children’s children.  Help us restore Dads and Moms to their rightful places in courtship.

Next post: A Better Way                            

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The Kiss of Death

Kiss“Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!  For your love is better than wine” (Song of Songs 1:2).

“Your lips drip nectar, my bride; honey and milk are under your tongue” (Song of Songs 4:11).

To kiss or not to kiss, that is the question.  Or, more properly, to kiss while “dating” or not to kiss, now that is the question; for it can hardly be denied that the Bible extols the romantic kiss of a husband and bride, as the quotes from Solomon’s Song above aptly illustrate.  

I still vividly remember my first encounter with a young woman who was not shy about telling others she had no intention of even kissing a man prior to her wedding day.  I was in a Communications class with her at Vanderbilt University.  She shared with the whole class during one of our group discussions on intimate human relations that she was saving herself wholly for her husband.  Though I was a Christian at the time, I had never even thought of such a thing in my walk with Christ.  Most of the class picked some light fun at her (though they were actually very respectful of her, all things considered).  But although I found the idea of not even kissing before marriage a bit weird, deep inside I longed for more of the radical commitment to Christ possessed by this young lady.   

The issue of kissing romantically before marriage is a sticky one, I grant.  The Bible does not have a specific prohibition in the matter, to my knowledge.  So, I cannot quote a “Thou shalt not kiss before marriage” verse.  But, often when trying to think God’s thoughts after Him we are called upon to take in the whole sweep of Scripture.  The Bible’s view of human sexuality, in other words, is comprehensive and crystal clear.  God’s design for sexual intimacy is that it be expressed solely between one man and one woman within the confines of marriage.  Jesus strongly affirmed the one-man-one-woman-for-life marriage formula in Matthew 19:1-9.

But is kissing really a sexually intimate act?  Should we God-fearing parents be warning and discouraing our teens (and younger children) to avoid romantic kissing prior to marriage?

I believe both science and the Bible answer “yes” to these two questions.

In the October 2010 issue of the AFA Journal, Ed Vitagliano reports on some new research demonstrating the strong and fascinating chemical reactions in our brains to intimate activity.  Let me very briefly try to boil down the findings:

  • Dopamine (a chemical in the brain that makes us feel good or excited) is released during even very simple romantic actions, such as tender glances, hand-holding, long hugs, etc.  Dopamine is an internal reward mechanism designed by God to make us want to repeat the action or to get more of it.  Dopamine makes an activity addictive.
  • Oxytocin floods a woman’s brain during labor, birth and breastfeeding and is designed to create a strong bonding reaction between the woman and the baby.  This chemical is also released, however, during intimate touching, causing the woman to bond with the man touching her, and making her want more.  Again it is addictive.
  • The counterpart to oxytocin in the man is vasopressin.  It causes him to feel a bond to a woman and to keep coming back for more.

At the very least, one can see the grave dangers of pre-marital or extra-marital sex.  Even science is now showing us how the Creator designed us as sexual beings with strong emotional and physical attachments to those we love and are intimate with.  The above findings demonstrate why casual sex or even one sexual encounter gone sour can leave devastating internal scars.  Our sexed up society is making a wreck of the designed chemical processes in our brains, and it is leaving its scar tissue on our very hearts and souls.

What should be obvious from these findings, too, is just how much romantic kissing is designed by God to “make us want more.”  If a simple touch of the hand illicits these addictive chemical responses in us, how much more a long, passionate kiss?  Non-existent is the young man or woman who can routinely kiss a partner without an overwhelming desire to go just a little bit further each time.  Science now confirms what I believe God has been telling us all along.

As far as I can tell, the only place in the Bible where the subject of intimate kissing is explored is the Song of Songs.  This Book is written to extol the virtues of marital sex and intimacy.  Period.  In case that point is not clear, three times in the short Book, we read this phrase:

“I adjure you . . . do not stir up or awaken love until it pleases (2:7; 3:5; 8:4).   

In Chapter 8 of the Song, we also see the bride saying to her husband, “If I found you outside, I would kiss you and none would despise me.”  The implication is clear enough, isn’t it?  Public kissing between non-married people was “despised.”  

Oh, Christian parents, rise up and reclaim God’s holy viewpoint on these matters!  God’s perspective on young people acting like they’re married when they are not is quite clear (Deut 22:28-29; 1 Cor 5:9-12).  Purity God’s way is all-encompassing, before, during, and yes even after death or divorce parts a marriage.

God help us raise our sons and daughters to embrace Your ideals and to whole-heartedly reject our culture’s wrecked and warped way of dating and relating.  For the glory of Your name, give parents and children and teens great grace to reflect Your holiness to a lost and dying world.  Help us all not give place to the devil.  Help dads and moms have the spiritual spine to protect their children from romantic blunders at all costs.  Give us strength in this crooked and perverse generation to rise up and “kiss the Son” (Psalm 2:12).  In the sweet name of Jesus, amen.

*For more information, see Hooked: New Science on How Casual Sex Is Affecting Our Children by Joe S. McIlhaney Jr. and Freda McKissic Bush.  Also The Harmful Effects of Early Sexual Activity and Multiple Sexual Partners Among Women by Robert E. Rector.          

           

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tlbcassocpastor - In Chapter 8 of the Song, we also see the bride saying to her husband, “If I found you outside, I would kiss you and none would despise me.” The implication is clear enough, isn’t it? Public kissing between non-married people was “despised.”
Oh, Christian parents, rise up and reclaim God’s holy viewpoint on these matters! God’s perspective on young people acting like they’re married when they are not is quite clear (Deut 22:28-29; 1 Cor 5:9-12). Purity God’s way is all-encompassing, before, during, and yes even after death or divorce parts a marriage.

Thought these 2 paragraphs were pretty decisive. Sorry you did not think so. In the end, I am not called to think for people, but to equip them to think God’s thoughts after Him for themselves, for His glory alone. Most of all, I am sorry you felt the need to abuse the Lord’s Holy Name in your comments to me (Ex 20:7).

T r u t h